Overall I think the project ended up a lot better than I was expecting it to, there were a lot of problems that seemed a lot worse than they actually were, and this was mainly due to either our group not understanding the industry workflow process full, which I think is forgivable considering this is the first opportunity I’ve had to actually work from start to finish on a film, or due to miscommunication between our group which towards the end Callum and myself actively sought to rectify, from about week 6-7 of this semester we realised that messages were being misunderstood through written forms of communication so we decided that anything important that needed discussing would be done so in person, and if any problems did arise we sought to rectify these problems in person so as not to cause further misunderstanding.
I feel like I hit all of my learning objectives, although some better than others, I did manage to improve my location sound skills greatly and this is proven by testimonials from the actors and from the media team, who have commented saying that we were professional and always ready to work. This also relates to my third learning objective aswell as the research undertaken to make sure that the techniques I was using were correct and the best way to do things. Through this I have learnt tricks for taping mics to actors, how to stand and aim with the boom pole, as well as how to judge the camera’s picture line. These are all techniques that I only had a vague understanding of from sitting in lectures before.
I feel that although I was able to recreate the soundscape enough with foley, that if I had more time I would have tried to make certain sounds sit slightly better, I would also have liked to experiment more with layering some of the sounds, we did add a few layers to the louder slamming sounds, but I feel like there’s more we could have done while the actors were eating, and we could have added more creaking for things like doors but we ended up running out of time for adding extra sounds in.
Overall our biggest downfall for this project was the lack of communication between the sound crew and the film crew, this caused problems out of nothing and also caused misunderstandings about the intentions of certain aspects of the film. In the future if I was to do this kind of project again I would make sure that all of the communication would be done verbally, as in person it is a lot harder to misinterpret what people are trying to say.
The main strengths of this project would be the location recording. Because of the amount of research and practise Callum and I put into improving the smaller techniques, we were able to eliminate problems before we recorded rather than trying to clean up a bad recording with plugins, we were able to reduce clip mic rustling massively, and we were also able to salvage scenes that the film crew wanted to use even when the audio was unfixable because we were vigilant with recording onset ADR. I would also say that because Callum and myself have a strong working relationship already we were able to get through certain processes quickly, such as while filming we were able to communicate silently, and we both trusted that each person knew what they were doing, so we were able to streamline any small decision making, which made the filming process a lot quicker and easier.
The biggest weakness of this project was the communication errors, when things went wrong it would usually start with someone being misunderstood over written communication, but was always solved easily in person. In certain cases this actually delayed the proceedings of the project, because people were busy trying to fix problems that either didn’t exist or would have been easier for us all to sit down together for us to sort. Another weakness, more personally to me was the writing of the music itself. While it fits the film well, if I had more time I would have liked to have spent it on refining the music a bit, tweaking some of the melodies so it’s less monotonous and mixing the music better.
The opportunities this project has presented come in two sections, firstly we were able to build up a good professional relationship with two professional actors, which could open some fresh avenues for getting work in the future. The actors are both from London and are active within the circuit there, Callum has even offered up accommodation for us if we ever got the opportunity to go for work down there. Another opportunity comes from my own confidence. Now that I have actually been able to work on set once I am a lot less concerned about doing location sound in the future, before this project everything I had learnt about sound for film had taken place in a class room, whereas this project has given me the practise of being on set without support and being relied upon by other people within the industry. This was a good midpoint between a paid job and a classroom project that has given me the insight and practise to be confident enough to take on more similar jobs in the future.
The biggest threat to our side of the project specifically would be the quality of the listening device. We got stung by this once during this project and it was actually an important aspect that we had overlooked. Although there were extenuating circumstances with the speakers that we had problems with, it did make me realise that we hadn’t tested our mix through many other devices other than our personal monitoring speakers and the Sound Theatre system. So after the issues we described in other posts I decided to listen to our final mix through a normal television and it did turn out to sound fine, but that would have been a big setback due to the oversight on our part.
A more thorough evaluation of each LO will be found with each Learning Objective category.